As of 2018, over 77% of all small American businesses use social media to facilitate crucial business functions such as marketing, sales, and customer service, among others. It’s then safe to assume that social media is playing a more pivotal role in business affairs, making the need for qualified and dedicated social media employees of equal importance.

Given the circumstances, it’s not wise to assign someone with little to no experience in social media to take on an entire load of responsibilities. Neither is to place this responsibility on an already burdened marketing team. It is, of course, possible to do these things but you can’t expect to see any meaningful results down the line if you do.

What this means is that you need to hire a social media manager that is can perfectly coordinate and assume all responsibilities that come attached. It’s essential, however, to keep in mind that the position of the social media manager is not about posting content on the company’s social channels, nor should it be treated as an afterthought.

It is a highly complex and multi-faceted management position that helps a business reach its goals throughout the digital environment. It needs to operate near those located in leadership positions to coordinate their efforts and maximize results.

But before you start the recruitment process, you will need to determine what is a fair and competitive salary for the role of social media manager.

What Do You Need From a Social Media Manager?

The first thing to ask yourself is – what do you hope to gain from the social media manager? Most will usually charge a monthly fee, but some also accept hourly rates for smaller projects. That said, there are several factors to take into consideration.

Already Existing or New Social Channels?

Starting an online presence from scratch will require a great deal of extra work than if the channels already exist. It includes things such as artwork creation, taglines, branding, and initial content.

Besides, it will be more challenging to generate followers for an unknown brand, meaning that the initial costs will also be higher as the social media manager will have to run both organic and paid campaigns simultaneously.

How Many Channels Will They Manage?

Another factor to keep in mind is the total number of social channels they will control. While most businesses generally use two channels, mainly Facebook and Twitter, others will also benefit from using Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube, among others.

For small businesses, the average added cost for each additional channel will be between $300 and $2,000 per month. It includes both their salary and other expenses that go into managing the channel.

Will They Be Handling Customer Service? 

Social media is quickly becoming the go-to for most customers when they are unhappy about your products or services. It presents an excellent opportunity for businesses to get ahead of the situation by directly engaging with any disgruntled customers and mediating the issue before it degenerates.

But this, however, requires active monitoring of the company’s channels as well as other social and review sites. Many experts use professional tools that monitor company mentions across the internet in real-time, raising their responsiveness but also their salary.

Will They Be Involved in Content Creation?

Your social channels will require a steady stream of content such as blogs, photos, videos, GIFs, 3rd party news, etc. Will, the social media manager, be involved in the creation of this content, will they be in charge of posting, or both? It will also influence their salary.

Social Media Manager Salaries

The national average salary for a social media manager is $55,199 per year according to Glassdoor. But since this is only an average, you need to take into account the size of your business and how that pay rate will align with your needs and budget.

If you are a small to a medium-sized operation, you’ll probably want to look for someone who is in the bottom half of the scale. The person you hire will have less knowledge and experience but will fit better within your company. More years of experience in social media will benefit your organization, but it will also mean a higher expected salary and benefits.

To better put things into perspective, we can narrow down social media manager salaries based on the years of experience and size of the company.

Entry-level (0-5 yrs)

  • Average Salary – between $46,751 and $60,460 per year
  • Average Salary for a Small Business (1-50 employees) – between $39,006 and $50,235
  • Additional Cash Compensation (cash bonuses, commissions, tips, profit sharing, etc.) – between $3,719 and $4,494

Mid-career (6-14 yrs)

  • Average Salary – between $67,010 and $77,148 per year
  • Average Salary for Small Businesses – between $55,401 and $63,235
  • Additional Cash Compensation – between $4,838 and $5,319

Experienced (over 15 yrs)

  • Average Salary – $84,000 and over per year
  • Average Salary for Small Businesses – over $68,442
  • Additional Cash Compensation – over $5,666

Social media manager salaries can also differ depending on the state. According to, the national average wage is $50,489 per year. That said, there is a discrepancy between salaries in different States.

  • Arizona – $13.48 per hour – 22% Below national average
  • California – $54,461 per year – 8% Above national average
  • Connecticut – $49,689 per year – Meets national average
  • Washington D.C. – $54,912 per year – 9% Above national average
  • Florida – $43,346 per year – 14% Below national average
  • Georgia – $48,653 per year – Close to national average
  • Idaho – $13.15 per hour – 24% Below national average
  • Illinois – $53,767 per year – 6% Above national average
  • Kentucky – $13.98 per hour – 19% Below national average
  • Louisiana – $27.81 per hour – 62% Above national average
  • Massachusetts – $51,992 per year – Meets national average
  • Michigan – $13.59 per hour – 21% Below national average
  • Minnesota – $42,022 per year – 17% Below national average
  • Missouri – $15.99 per hour – 7% Below national average
  • Nebraska – $13.37 per hour – 22% Below national average
  • Nevada – $43,856 per year – 13% Below national average
  • New York – $55,608 per year – 10% Above national average
  • North Carolina – $40,673 per year – 20% Below national average
  • Ohio – $39,121 per year – 23% Below national average
  • Oklahoma – $37,685 per year – 25% Below national average
  • Pennsylvania – $44,765 per year – 11% Below national average
  • Tennessee – $35,599 per year – 30% Below national average
  • Texas – $50,334 per year – Meets national average
  • Utah – $15.08 per hour – 12% Below national average
  • Washington state – $45,302 per year – 10% Below national average


Keep in mind that these salaries presented here are only estimates, most being based on anonymous submissions. Likewise, they can further change based on the city or geographical location, regardless of the state. For more information, please feel free to visit our website.